Four local Chicago area youth golfers, representing the Illinois PGA Section, have earned an invitation to Augusta National Golf Club to compete in the sixth annual Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals to be played on Sunday, April 7, 2019, prior to the start of the Masters Tournament. A total of 80 youth golfers representing 27 U.S. states and four Canadian provinces qualified for the National Finals this year.
The four Illinois PGA Section National Finalists are:
- Lilian She (age 9, girls 7-9 division); Buffalo Grove, Ill.
- This is Lilian’s first time making it to the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals after competing in qualifying rounds for the past three years. Last year, her older sister tied for fifth in her division at the National Finals.
- Luciano Giangrossi (age 9, boys 7-9 division); Evanston, Ill.
- Luciano earned a spot in the National Finals after taking first at the regional qualifiers at Whistling Straits, his favorite golf course. In addition to golf, Luciano enjoys playing hockey.
- Joseph Luchtenburg (age 13, boys 12-13 division); West Chicago, Ill.
- This is Joseph’s first trip to the National Finals after competing in qualifying rounds for the past four years. He started playing golf at age three and enjoys practicing with his parents and cousins.
- Joshua Pehl (age 14, boys 14-15 division); Sugar Grove, Ill.
- Joshua has grown up around multiple generations of golfers including his grandparents, dad, uncles and brother. He placed first in the Ryder Cup Youth Skills Challenge in 2012 at Medinah Country Club.
“We are thrilled to have four local players qualify for the National Finals at Augusta from our PGA Section,” said Carrie Williams, executive director of the Illinois PGA Section. “Drive, Chip and Putt is such a wonderful program and competition for young players to test their skills and have fun.”
Developed in partnership between the Masters Tournament, the PGA of America and the USGA, Drive, Chip and Putt is a free, nationwide youth golf development initiative open to girls and boys ages 7-15. Participants compete in separate divisions in four age categories – focused on the three fundamental skills employed in golf, tapping the creative and competitive spirit of young golfers. The Illinois PGA conducted the 10 local qualifiers and two sub-regional qualifiers in the state, with Illinois PGA Professionals providing support at each facility hosting a qualifier.
CLICK HERE for more information about the Drive, Chip and Putt program or to register for the 2020 Drive Chip and Putt competition.
About the Illinois PGA/Illinois PGA Foundation
The Illinois Section of the PGA of America is a professional organization serving the men and women golf professionals in northern and central Illinois who are the recognized experts in growing, teaching and managing the game of golf. The Illinois PGA is responsible for the administration of competitive golf tournaments, educational opportunities, support programs and growth of the game initiatives. With over 840 members and apprentices, the Illinois PGA is one of the 41 regional Sections that comprise the PGA of America. The Illinois PGA Foundation focuses its community efforts on promoting the goodwill and growth of the game with an emphasis on activities that benefit youth. Foundation initiatives include: GolfWorks Illinois, Youth-based Scholarship Funds and the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame. For more information about the Illinois PGA and the Illinois PGA Foundation, please visit www.www.ipga.com and join us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
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Palmer Moody Hannah Franz
Illinois PGA Communications Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals